It’s been 2 years since the first generation of Mavic Air was launched in January 2018.
The Mavic Air took the spotlight from others for its foldable and compact design. The great portability and the capability of shooting 4K videos make it a travel-friendly drone, however, users do have complaints about short battery life, obstacle avoidance, and video transmission system. The practical battery life is between 15-18 minutes. No obstacle avoidance sensor on the sides and top, the WiFi video transmission is not stable and far enough.
Now the Mavic Air 2 is here, let’s see if the new generation has fixed these issues and worths the upgrade.
If you want a quick overview, here it is:
- Mavic Air 2 comes with a bigger size and different design, especially the remote controller. It edges out the Mavic Air in terms of Camera, flying time, transmission system, range, and Intelligent Flight Modes.
- If you are a Mavic Air or Mavic Pro user and want a cheap new drone that comes with a better camera and flight performance, the Mavic Air 2 would be a perfect choice.
In this article we will compare the Mavic Air 2 and Mavic Air in every aspect and fill you in with juicy details, so you will get a better understanding of what the differences are.
DJI Mavic Air 2 VS Mavic Air
|H49 x W83 x L168mm|
|Weight||1.25 lbs/570 grams||0.66 lbs/ 299 grams|
|Max Range||6.2 miles (10 km)||4 km (2.5 miles)|
|Battery Life||up to 34 minutes||up to 21 minutes|
|Max Speed (Sport Mode)||68.4 km/h (42 mph)||68.4 km/h (42 mph)|
|Obstacle Avoidance||Forward, Backward, Downward||Forward, Backward, Downward|
|Internal Storage||8GB onboard||8GB onboard|
|SD Card||Supports a microSD with a capacity of up to 256 GB||Micro SD™|
|Sensor||Sony 1/2″||Sony 1/2.3″|
|Camera||48 MP||12 MP|
|Video||4K Ultra HD: 3840×2160 24/25/30/48/50/60 fps
2.7K: 2688×1512 24/25/30/48/50/60 fps
FHD: 1920×1080 24/25/30/48/50/60/120/240 fps
4K Ultra HD HDR: 3840×2160 24/25/30 fps
2.7K HDR: 2688×1512 24/25/30 fps
FHD HDR: 1920×1080 24/25/30 fps
|4K Ultra HD: 3840×2160 24/25/30p
2.7K: 2720×1530 24/25/30/48/50/60p
FHD: 1920×1080 24/25/30/48/50/60/120p
HD: 1280×720 24/25/30/48/50/60/120p
|Video Format||MP4 / MOV (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, HEVC/H.265)||MP4 / MOV (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, HEVC/H.265)|
|Max Bitrate||120 Mbps||100 Mbps|
|Shutter speed||Electronic Shutter 8-1/8000s||Electronic Shutter 8-1/8000s|
100-6400Photo (12 MP):
100-6400 (Manual)Photo (48 MP):
|Gimbal||3 Axis||3 Axis|
|App||DJI Fly||DJI GO 4|
|Transmission System||Ocusynce 2.0||WiFi|
|Price||Start from $799||Start from $799|
Design and portability
Compared to the Mavic Air, the design of the aircraft differs from not only the material but the color and size. If you put them together, you can hardly tell that it’s the 2nd generation. It’s more like a smaller version of the Mavic 2 and has the same color as the Mavic Mini which launched not long ago.
Although it weighs 271 grams more and comes with a bigger size, Mavic Air 2 doesn’t compromise in portability.
The Mavic Air comes in Arctic White, Onyx Black, and Flame Red, while the second generation only has one color.
The Mavic Air 2 remote controller doesn’t match the same design of the Mavic family, it’s bigger and has the same color as the aircraft. Where the new remote differs most in design is the way to mount your phone or tablet, it’s a totally new solution that allows you to attach the smartphone or tablet above the sticks. Personally, I think it’s way better than the other Mavic drones because you can get a better view easily.
Mavic Air 2 Remote Controller
Flight time is one of the most important features of a drone. The max battery life of the Mavic Air is 21 minutes. While the cheapest drone in the Mavic family can fly up to 30 minutes, the Mavic Air’s Battery life is a little bit too short. The new Mavic Air 2 comes with a 3500 mAh battery that can support up to 34 minutes of flying time. This is one of the most significant upgrades. It’s even 3 minutes longer than the flagship Mavic 2.
The new Mavic Air 2 is capable of flying up to 6.2 miles (10 km) due to its Ocusync 2.0 transmission system, while the max flight distance of Mavic Air is only 2.5 miles (4 km). Mavic Air 2 also allows you to get a 1080p live view while you can only get 720p with Mavic Air. Ocusync 2.0 was first used on DJI Mavic 2, and it’s more stable, and better at anti-interference especially flying in a busy environment.
DJI Goggles Compatibility
One of the differences between these two generations is the compatibility with DJI’s VR set DJI Goggles. Surprisingly, Mavic Air 2 is not compatible with DJI Goggles. Mavic Air does work with DJI Goggles, but the WiFi transmission system on Mavic Air makes the connection a little bit complicated, you will need an extra USB OTG cable to pair the drone and the goggles.
The camera is one of the big upgrades that we can see on Mavic Air 2. The new Mavic Air comes with a bigger sensor. It packs a 1/2” CMOS sensor capable of shooting 4K videos at 60fps and 48MP still photos. Mavic Air 2 is capable of shooting 4k videos @120Mbps which means it has better quality. It also supports HDR video and 8K Hyperlapse. The Mavic Air features a 1/2.3” sensor allowing you to capture 4K videos and 12MP photos.
Both Mavic Air 2 and Mavic 2 are equipped with forward, backward, and downward obstacle avoidance sensors, there is also no change in the number of sensors. The Mavic Air 2 may come with better obstacle avoidance because it supports APAS 2.0 which is the same as the Mavic 2 series.
Intelligent Flight Modes
The Mavic Air 2 edges out the Mavic Air in terms of intelligent flight modes, including Spotlight 2.0, FocusTrack, QuickShots, SmartPhoto, and more. ActiveTrack allows you to set the drone to follow a moving object, the ActiveTrack 3.0 performances better for high-speed tracking, accurate obstacle sensing. With Point of Interest, your drone can circle around an object and shoot amazing footage. Point of Interest 3.0 will help you capture even better aerial footage. APAS 2.0 (Advanced Pilot Assistance Systems) helps pilots fly safely in a complex environment, it automatically detects obstacles when flying forward and backward.
Both Mavic Air 2 and Mavic Air has a top speed of 68.4 kph(42mph) when flying in Sport Mode. They are the second fastest drones in the Mavic family.
Mavic Air uses DJI GO4 which is used by most of the DJI drones, while DJI Air 2 uses the DJI Fly app which only supports DJI Mini and DJI Mavic Air 2 now. According to DJI, the DJI Fly app is lightweight and comes with better video editing function. It’s easier to use and more beginner-friendly.
DJI Fly app compatibility is a headache for many pilots, especially those who use an Android device. check The DJI Fly Compatible Devices and Troubleshooting to learn more.
Clearly, the Mavic Air 2 is a big upgrade, it features a better camera, 13 more minutes of flight time, longer flight distance, Ocusync 2.0 transmission system, more advanced intelligent flight modes, and a new remote controller. Most importantly, it comes with the same $799 price. Though it comes with a bigger frame and weights a little bit more, it’s still one of the best consumer drones around.
If you are a Mavic Air user and looking for a new powerful replacement, it’s worth the upgrade.
Get the Mavic Air 2 if you want a cheaper new DJI drone that packs features only available on flagship Mavic 2 Series.
You may also be interested in :